Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And Who Said The Cops Don't "Protect And Serve"?

Jumping Jehosaphat, I just don't know what the heck is wrong with my people sometimes. Okay, so there's a story in the news right now about how a woman of color wound up being tasered, repeatedly, after calling the police for help because she was afraid that there might be a prowler outside. On one of the news sites reporting this story, I made the comment that what I take away from this is that people of color are better off taking their chances with the criminals because calling the police only increases the likelihood that they/we will be victimized twice. In response, a fellow woman of color criticized my statement saying,
"So people of color should not call the cops. Are we inconveniencing them and therefore should be subject to torture or murder? The problem is we are becoming too silent on issues we need to speak out on. After awhile we can't look them in the eye and should hold our heads down and always remember to say yes suh, no suh. Honestly I can't believe we forget people were lynched, beat, hosed so that we had our civil rights. Police protection or at least holding them as best we can to do their jobs without killing us is better than being silent."
I wrote back to her and said,
"It's up to you to decide if YOU should call the cops. However, if you do, there's no reason for you to think that you won't be victimized by them. Given their history in this nation, it would be extremely naive for a person of color to think that a systemically racist organization is going to work to the advantage of those who it was designed to suppress. Who has said anything about remaining silent? Not expecting them to be our knights in shining armor is not the same as being silent. By all means, speak out. However, it's hard to effect change as long as you're perpetuating the problem by not finding other ways of dealing with societal issues. If we make calling the cops the only correct way of dealing with issues of safety, what are we supposed to do when it is the cops who are endangering us (e.g. a case like this one)? Have you forgotten that it was often the police who were doing the lynching and beating and hosing of people of color? Don't you get it? These cops WERE doing their job. Their job isn't to protect and serve YOU. Their job is to protect and serve the system that codified the oppression of those people of color you're referencing."
If this story isn't proof that cops don't work for us, I don't know what would be. Sure, our taxes pay their salary, but that doesn't mean they work for us. It simply means that we are paying "protection money" to state-sanctioned mob. We're supposed to believe that if we don't pay them to protect us, then we'll be victimized by the "bad guys". However, they are the bad guys, so even though we pay them, we still wind up being victimized. Having a police force doesn't keep people of color safe, so what do we have to lose by not assuming that they are going to be there to protect us?

4 comments:

bayoucreole said...

Officer Friendly is dead.

The Right Guy said...

Hey Bint, listen to the show or even call in. Should be interesting: http://www.libertarianrepublican.net/2010/07/libertarian-politics-live-is-tea-party.html

libhom said...

Here in NYC, the NYPD is so busy harassing innocent people of color that white people often can't get help when they are victims of real crimes. I can't argue with your thesis even slightly.

Om.ar said...

Why not a third way? Call the cops, of course, but first put on a rubber suit.